Every time I think of this book, I remember another aspect of the story/performance that I love.
At first I wasn't sure how I felt about John Lee's narration, but as I continued to listen, the tone seemed to be a perfect fit for the story. Somehow simultaneously mundane and other-worldly.
Some of my favorite scenes that I don't think have been mentioned by other reviewers include Richie's interactions with Peter's family and the relationship that develops between Peter's son and the elderly next door neighbor (probably my favorite character).
As I'm writing this review, I'm realizing this book deserves a repeat listen.
I first have to say that when I started listening to this book, I found Eva's affected and verbose manner of speech to be overwhelmingly off-putting. Within the first 15 minutes I stopped listening and reread the reviews to see if it would be worth trying to slog through. One reviewer specifically addressed this, saying it was Eva's character and not Shriver's writing style. With that in mind, I continued listening from that perspective. I'm so glad I did.
I didn't 'like' any of the characters; Franklin was especially frustrating. And, although I could foresee one of the major plot twists (probably because I read too many reviews), the performance and story grabbed me. The ending (her last conversation with Kevin) clicked the whole thing into place, kind of like when the ring drops in the Sixth Sense. I know I'm being vague, but I don't want to ruin the experience for any future readers.
This book left an impression on me. I can't love it in a warm-fuzzy way, but it sticks with me. I was so intrigued by the book, that I was naturally interested in how it might be made into a movie. This isn't meant to be a review of the movie, so I'll just say the movie was a huge disappointment in my opinion. I hope if you've watched the movie, you'll still give the book a chance.
This is a good book! Engaging and has a nice pace..I really enjoyed listening.But I've seen reviews comparing Beautiful Ruins to The Help, and I just don't see that. I think this book is good in it's own way, but in my opinion, if I had bought it thinking it would be comparable to The Help, I would have been disappointed.
I think that would be a tough expectation for any book to live up to.
I was able to predict many (not all) of the 'reveals', but that didn't ruin the experience for me.
This was my first Edoardo Ballerini-listen. He was fantastic!
If you like cozy, you'll love this!
A quaint village full of warm characters.. as an added bonus, it's a family friendly (PG) listen.
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